Leaving government


Q. I have worked since I was 14. I am now just about to turn 50. I have been a hard worker during my life and my body just cannot take it anymore. I have made between $30 and $110,000 a year. My wife works and makes decent money. What are my options? I have not worked for the last two years.

A. If you have reached your minimum retirement age, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision; however, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 60. Or, if you are at least 50 years old, you could wait until your agency fires you and receive a discontinued service retirement based on your years of service. Or you could apply for both Social Security disability benefits and FERS disability retirement. While you might not meet the “totally disabled” criterion for Social Security disability benefits, you may qualify for disability retirement.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Please explain-Or, if you are at least 50 years old, you could wait until your agency fires you and receive a discontinued service retirement based on your years of service.

    • If you have at least 20 years of service and are at least 50 years old, if your agency fires you, you’d be eligible for a discontinued service retirement. Your annuity would be calculated using the following formula: .01 x your high-3 x your total years and full months of service. You’d be entitled to receive the FERS special retirement supplement when you reach your minimum retirement age. (MRAs range from 55 to 57 based on your date of birth.)

  2. If you are fired, you only have one year to fill for disability from the FERS or CSR systems. Federal employment disability is not an option if you have been seperated for 2 years.

    Social Security Disability require you be unable to work. You can not be able to hold a job due to your condition.

    I am on both.

  3. I retired on FERS disability before age 62. I am now approaching 62 and know that my annuity will be recalculated at that time. I had at least two years of temporary FERS service prior to February 1988 that is not creditable because no retirement contributions were deducted. I would like to make a service credit deposit for this time, but have been unable to find out whether this is even possible. I called the Retirement Center in Pennsylvania and they didn’t know whether I could even make a service credit deposit now under these circumstances.

    Assuming I could make such a deposit, I also wanted to know whether my filing a service credit repayment form would hold up my recalculated annuity if the process is not finished until after I turn 62 (in April). I have read that this would be the case with a regular retirement annuity, but I didn’t know whether that would apply here since I am already receiving a disability annuity now.

    • You need to fill out a Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, available at https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf3108.pdf, and send it to OPM. Although I don;t know if the process of making a service credit deposit would hold up the recalculation of your annuity; however, in the end you would receive all the money that you were due if the deposit had been made before age 62.

  4. Marc Bourbonnais on

    I have been a police officer for 20 yes , I’m having major anxiety issues . Can I qualify for disability somehow.

    • I don’t know if you’d qualify for disability retirement but you can certainly file for it. Your personnel office is required to help you complete the paperwork needed to apply.

  5. I’m 52 with 30 years of federal service under fers. I was in GERMANY and was put on ppp after my 5 years. I found myself a job at the Veterans AFFAIRS here STATE SIDE had to leave my whole family beside in order to keep my federal job until age 56 MRA so I will get a retirement CHECK MINUS health insurance for my wife and SELF. Does any know if i was to retire with my 30 yrs age 52 move back to germany and apply for full time PERM. POSITIONS if I would qulifify since I haven’t been in the states two years? Because ppl didn’t find me the job here and I retired. Would that work in my favor or against me? Please help

    • I have no idea. However, by posting your question on the site, I’m hoping that one of our readers will be able to help.

  6. James Martin on

    I worked for the federal gov. For thirteen years under fees retirement. I recently separated and all I received from my fers retirement was 5483 dollars how can this be right

    • It may very well be right. As a FERS employee who was hired before 2013, only .08 per cent was deducted from your Basic pay to cover the cost of a future retirement benefit.

    • $5,482 divided by 0.8% = $685,375
      $685,375 divided by 13 years = $57,721 per year

      So yeah, it looks like it could be right.

      If you had left the $5,483 in the system, you could start collecting a lifetime pension from age 62 of $6,853 (more or less) per year. Or, you could start collecting as early as age 57 with a smaller pension. It is too late for you to change your mind, but if you know anyone else who is going to leave federal service, you might advise them to leave their money in the system.

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